THE New People’s Army (NPA) has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on government troops in Davao City.
Ka Parago Sandoval, a spokesman for the NPA’s 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion, said the attacks were in retaliation to abuses of government troops as well as the rebel group’s separatist campaign in Mindanao.
He said six soldiers were killed in clashes at Paquibato and Calinan districts in July while an Army vehicle transporting troops in the village of Malabog was ambushed resulting to many casualties.
Just this week, two soldiers were also slain in sniper attacks in Sumimao and Dominga villages. Earlier this month, NPA rebels killed a soldier and wounded three more in Fatima village and seized military backpacks and vests, including munitions, from a detachment of the 69th Infantry Battalion near Mapula village.
“The Army’s rights abuses, ranging from harassment, red tagging, psychological warfare, encampment in civilian populace and intimidation, have earned them the ire of the masses. Despite being hated by Paquibato peasants and Lumads, and despite suffering from a high number of casualties, they continue to serve their corrupt and fascist masters in the AFP echelons and the landlord-bourgeois comprador class,” said Sandoval.
“Their blind allegiance to corrupt generals and superiors at the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command only makes them more easy targets of the New People’s Army, people’s militia and the revolutionary movement,” Sandoval added.
The rebels are also targetting the Philippine National Police and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit which are supporting Oplan Bayanihan, the AFP’s anti-insurgency campaign.
There was no immediate statement from the Eastern Mindanao Command on the NPA claims, but the outskirts of Davao City are known stronghold of the communist rebel group.
The NPA has been fighting for decades now for the establishment of a separate state in the country.
Meanwhile, around 30 heavily-armed NPA rebels attacked an Army detachment in Camarines Sur on Friday.
Reports reaching Camp Crame said soldiers from the 22nd Infantry Battalion at Sitio Dinumpilan in Barangay Malinao, Libamanan town, clashed with the rebels at around 2:30 a.m.
The rebels withdrew towards Sitio Danawan and headed to to Sitio Canamuan, the reports said
No casualties were reported on the government side, while the rebels sustained an unknown number of casualties based on traces of blood seen on the rebels escape route, the police reports said.
WITH ANTHONY VARGAS